How to Make Manual Treadmill Smooth: 2 Methods Explained

Making a manual treadmill belt smooth is very essential. It could enhance the belt’s life and overall productivity of the machine.

To get long-term benefits from a treadmill taking care of its belt is very important.

So some necessary points related to the smoothing of treadmill belts are explained in this article.

Before understanding how to lubricate a treadmill belt, it is better to know how much time one should lubricate treadmill.

How to Make Manual Treadmill Smooth?

When to Lubricate the treadmill belt? 

First, we understand when we should try to make the manual treadmill smooth. Because by knowing the right time for lubrication we can enhance the lifespan of the treadmill and belt.

If you know the right time for lubrication then it’s also worth your treadmill.

In case lubrication is done too early, this can make your running experience unpleasant. Because you will start slipping as very less friction is offered by the belt.

If lubrication is done lately, this is also harmful, this can start deteriorating the belt.

The time duration to apply lubricant to the machine varies depending on the brand.

If the machine starts giving a squeaking noise then it’s time to apply the lubricant.

But the right method is to do this before hearing any noise(which means you can do this after every 3-4 months).

There are two determinants that tell how often should a treadmill belt should be greased.  And after how long you should repeat this procedure?

  1.  If your machine has completed the calculated distance over 120 miles OR
  2.  Most manufacturers suggest that you lubricate the treadmill quarterly(recommended).
    But if the treadmill is still working fine after 3 months, then the fine line is to apply lube between 3-6 months.

Before applying the lubrication you need to ensure that you have a thorough insight into the manual provided by the manufacturer.

Some manufacturers provide the lube along and some do not offer this as a complementary.

Mostly it is recommended to use lube given by brand. But if lube is not present then use silicone-based lubricants.

Also Read: How to flatten treadmill belt

Which Lubricant to use for a treadmill?

After understanding when to use the lube, having knowledge of the right lube(with essential ingredients) which can provide the belt with a long life is also important.

Some inappropriate lubricants in the market are available which after being applied can tear the belt and also deck can be damaged.

To avoid such damage to the treadmill’s belt, buying a little bit of expensive lube can provide you a smooth jogging experience and great value for the money you spent.

Recently petroleum-based lubricants became famous for the reason they were cheap. But soon their reviews told us users have a very bad experience with that.

So, Lubricant should not be petroleum-based or WD40 or Vaseline, instead it should be silicone based. Furthermore, silicone-based lubricants come in two forms:

  1. Silicone Spray
  2. Silicone Liquid

Any one of the above can be used. But nowadays silicone spray is more common because it has the ability to distribute evenly beneath the belt.

Although silicone liquid lube serves same purpose. But sometimes, liquid gathers in one area below belt.

Methods to make manual treadmill smooth

The following two techniques can help to make the belt run smoothly on a manual treadmill.

  1. Apply Lubricant
  2. Tighten the belt

Apply Lubricant(Follow the steps described below)

We can make the manual treadmills smooth by the application of silicone lube in the right way with the proper methods. This is explained in steps.

STEP1(Place some cloth underneath the treadmill)

Before applying the lube to the treadmill belt, place a cloth beneath the treadmill.

Because in some cases, the liquid drips over and makes your ground dirty.

It might be difficult to remove stains from the floor. Because the lube is semi-liquid and sticks to the ground.

STEP2(Lift the treadmill belt)

After placing the cloth underneath, the next step is to lift the belt of the treadmill from the deck.

First, lose the bolts from the rear of the deck to loosen the belt so that you can lift it up easily.

Lift the belt from the sides of the treadmill. It can be done with the help of a screwer or some sort of support from another tool or simply lift the belt by hand.

STEP3(Apply silicone spray or liquid)

Always shake the lubricant can before spraying or applying it (in case it is liquid). Now apply the silicone spray between the belt and the deck. Spray evenly at every part beneath the treadmill belt.

Insert the nozzle of the spraying bottle between the deck and the manual treadmill belt.

Apply at one side and then move to the other side.

If lube is applied in an excess amount at some point, clean the lube with help of some cloth or towel.

The excess lubrication can make the surface slippery, thus increasing the risk of slipping while jogging.

STEP4(Mop Up the Lubricant)

Now clean the lubricant which might spread on the floor or which is present on the surface of the treadmill rails.

It is easily possible that lubricant can spread around, whether how much you take care of while applying lubricant.

That’s why it is recommended to place a cloth underneath the treadmill before applying lube.

STEP5(Tight rear deck bolts)

After the lube is applied and the surface is cleaned, now tighten the bolts which we opened earlier at the start of the procedure.

Tight the bolts nicely so that the alignment of the belt does not get disturbed.

If you want to move the belt toward the right: turn the left bolt to the right and the right bolt to the left.

If you want to move the belt towards the left: do the above step in opposite direction.

STEP6(Test the Treadmill Belt)

Everything is done and finalized now.

The final thing is to validate that the lubrication is moving the belt properly.

After tightening the bolts turn on the treadmill and let it run at 3-4 mph walking speed. So that the applied lubricant spreads inside the belt in an even manner.

After that, walk on a treadmill to check the movement of the belt. If you can experience smooth jogging without any interruption of the belt, then lube is applied evenly.

Tighten the Bolts of Belt

The above-mentioned are the steps that help you better lubricate a treadmill belt. But sometimes there may be a case when lubrication is fine.

The other problem you might encounter at that time is there might be looseness in the belt.

Then the measure you should take is to tighten the bolts of the belt.

Just tightening the belt can make your jogging experience smooth.

If you hear some squeaking noise then before applying lube first check the bolts of the belt. If they are loose, tighten the bolts then.

Check the bolts after every 20 hours of workout on the treadmill.

Related: How to fix a slipping treadmill belt

A big MISTAKE in applying the lubricant

Some people do this mistake, they apply lubes to those machines which don’t demand lubrication.

The machines which need to be lubricated again and again are those which are low-cost machines including manual treadmills which are not much costly.

But some treadmills of recognized brands like NordicTrack and Proform etc. come with pre-applied high-quality lubricant.

If any kind(i.e: petroleum-based or silicone) of lubricant is applied to those treadmills, then this can tear the belt.

In order to avoid any such damage read the instruction manual that came with your treadmill.

If a company has specified in the manual that high-quality lubricant is applied then don’t do the mistake to apply lubricant yourself.


A person should always use a silicon-based lubricant. Because it maintains the quality of the belt. Thus belt can sustain longer life.

Normally the belt’s life is 4-7 years. But if it is lubricated regularly(every 3-6 months) then the life of the belt could increase manifold. You can say the life of the belt could increase by up to 10 years.

Making manual treadmill smooth isn’t a hectic or tough task. It just needs a proper understanding of the steps that can help to lubricate the treadmill belt.

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